The Peoples Dialogue identified in Southern Africa limited contact between organisations and movements of peasants, small farmers and the rural poor. Movements like Via Campesina in the region were relatively fragile and in South Africa a political vacuum existed in the countryside with only pockets of small farmers associations and NGOs working around issues of agrarian reform. The Peoples Dialogue seeks to stimulate a Southern African dialogue simultaneously and parallel to the global dialogue.
Through SADEC exchanges, Peoples Dialogue wants to:
· create space for country level movements, unions, organisations and associations to strengthen their organisations through learning from similar regional formations;
·build strong leadership layers that can link local issues and challenges to the regional and global contexts (Food Sovereignty, EPAs, WTO, NEPAD, etc); and
·develop a programme of joint learning, dialogue and exchange between rural women’s movements (to share methodologies/ women’s rights, reproductive rights, culture and local economic development)”.